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Tech Task 17: Itunes Podcasts

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The first pod cast that I viewed on Itunes was connected to Geek Brief TV, a video podcast presented by Cali Lewis about technology.  Geek Brief is a video pod cast with news about tech tools and toys.  The format is fast, fun, fresh and flirty.  Well in this description they sure got the fast part right.  I watched this pod cast 3 times just to get the basic amount of information processed into my brain.  Now naturally it was all a bit over my head in the first place, but it was very interesting.  This particular pod cast was about robotics research and showcased several ways that it is affecting our everyday lives, that most people are not even aware of.  For example when you purchase a new car that has technology built into it that beeps when you are about to back into something- that form of technology emerged from robotics research.  Irobot vacuums are now sweeping the nation, they clean your place without you having to lift a finger.  Not as many of these have sold as the company would have liked.  Apparently in Japan people are very interested in embracing technology, they view it as being very positive.  Whereas in the United States they are more skeptacle of new emerging technologies.   Cali mentioned Aaron Edsinger’s domo robot in this pod cast and it was very interesting (people.csail.mit.edu/edsinger/domo.htm).  Domo is a robot that looks like it was born in 1992.  Looked a little bit like Walle but taller- cute as a button, this robot was built to adapt to its environment.  A lot of the things that were discussed in this pod cast were well over my head, but very interesting to listen to.

The “fun” pod cast that I decided to watch and listen to was  Mandala Meditations, created by Kelly Dietrich under the subtitle of spirituality.  This was a strange pod cast because there was no talking- hence the meditation part.  It looked like a 3 min kaleidoscope that was continuously spinning and morphing along side of some relaxing guitar music.  It ended very quickly and I was expecting some explanation at the beginning, but it was cool to see a very opposing pod cast to the first one that I had viewed.

Written by petermeg

November 22, 2008 at 7:25 pm

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Tech Task 12: K12 Online Conference

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Web 2.0 Tools to Amplify Elementary Students’ Creativity and Initiative– Presented by Jackie Gerstein (http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=277)

This presentation describes projects designed for students, ages 8 to 12, to use emerging technologies for engaging, thinking, learning, collaborating, creating, and innovating.

The idea of social constructivist learning was never directly mentioned in this presentation, but was certainly referenced to.  When students are creating their own websites and learning about links and how to connect everything that they love to learn about on one page is an amazing description of social constructivist learning.  Jackie has each student reflect and review websites to help prepare them for the future of web based learning in the classroom.  With the use of such tools as skype, linking, and playing with games she is helping the students to teach themselves and help each other with their learning. 

A project that she talked about in particular was one that had the students create their own avatars to make creative stories and create safe persona’s for themselves.  All of the students loved exploring with the games that led up to this, but some had struggles with the emerging technologies that they were not so familiar with.  They were very easy to give up when they felt frustrated, explained Jackie.  Jackie is the one who must facilitate and inspire the students to keep trying.  She often sits with students for a long while just showing them other ways of getting to what they want on a particular website.  This is important so that they do not give up.

I think that learning technologies at an elementary level will absolutely promote creativity and innovation in the classroom for many reasons.  As well as prepare young students for becoming 21st century learners.  They need these tools to survive and to have technology be a creative outlet for them.  I wish that I had that growing up, if I had, I would be much more prepared than I am now, and more importantly more comfortable.

Written by petermeg

November 21, 2008 at 9:39 pm

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Tech Task 18: My Future Classroom

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         roboteacherBefore I can tell you what my future classroom will look like, I can explain to you precisely what it WILL NOT look like.  There will not be desks in rows to ensure that students are not staring at the backs of one anothers home made haircuts.  I will not use the back of these rows to house children who believe that glue sticks are an alternative snack.  There will not be laminante posters surrounding these desks from 1979 that say “way to go!” with cats on them- whats up with those anyways?  I will not have a wicker basket on my desk that collects apples at the end of each day and determines which students get extra marks on their next report card.  I will not have a special piece of chalk that none of the students can touch because it was handed down to me by god himself.  I will not have an outrageous amount of red pens that determine mistakes on a students piece of personal work.  When a student asks how to do a math problem, I will not respond by saying; “like this, I showed you already, anyone else have a question”.  I will not have a drawer full of children’s confiscated items that houses Halloween candy and birthday gifts from years gone by.  I will not load children’s backpacks so full of homework that they need to get their spines re-aligned by the third grade.  I will not pick on the students that do not grasp something immediately in order to work on my insecurities.  I will not use detention as a way to remind students that they are bad seeds, and are nothing like their older brothers and sisters.  I will not have a computers class, where children learn typing skills, and are slapped on the wrist the second they begin exploring the vast, and precious world of the web.  I will not have eyes in the back of my head that inform me as soon as a student is using the calculator tool on their cell phone. 

                  I WILL NOT BE ADDICTED TO POWER

                                     I WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF CHANGE

                                                          I WILL NOT BE AFRAID TO SHARE IDEAS

                                                                             I WILL NOT BECOME MY STUDENTS WORST ENEMY

Instead I will be open2to the idea that change is the only thing that keeps us alive and creative.  I will be an educator that utilises technology in the classroom when it should be used and asks her students how it helps them learn.  I will reward students for growing as learners, not just for being “intelligent”.  I will learn and create with my students every day in new and challenging ways.  I will not give up on technology even when it seems frustrating or tedious. 

    

When it  comes to the future, there are three kinds of people:  those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”               -John M. Richardson-

 Those who make it happen make it wherever their lives may lead them.

 

Written by petermeg

November 20, 2008 at 5:31 am

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Why must everything be so black and white?

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I do not even know where to begin writing this, but here goes.  I commented on a link that Dean Shareski forewarded to me, that connected me to Will Richardsons blog. One of Will’s most resent comments features the use of paper in his life and more particularily in the classroom.  The way that his post and the comments that drizzled behind it were written felt a little pushy to me.  Now, it is true that the only reason that I have “copied and pasted” anything on the web, is because of Deans Education computers class and I am just beginning to learn about the posative things that technology can bring into our sudents lives, but I do not appreciate new ideas being pushed on me.  After I read Wills post I felt like I would be a bad teacher if I was to use too much paper in my first year as an educator.  I understand that is not what he was suggesting, I am only attempting to communicate the way that I feel.

  I am currently in my third year of five, in the arts education program at the University of Regina, and I have not yet even gone into a classroom to intern, so when I read Wills post I felt afraid, sad, and angry.  The sadness exploded from his comment concerning paperback novels and about how he is trying to cut back on them, as if anyone who STILL reads on paper is going straight to hell in a hand basket, and should serieously consider cutting back.. On account on how un-green it all is!!!  I would really love for someone to explain to me how to make art, or the roughdrafts that lead up to that masterpiece without the use of paper.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that beautiful art can be captured in a photograph or created with the help of technology- but what about process??  What are we stripping away from students when we denigh them of the tool that they are the most comfortable using (and in some cases that tool will most definatley be technology). 

And that is it, that is the aspect of technology that I have always been suspicious of, it must be black or white.  I have yet to see the grey area that real people live in.  I will not have my future students turn into the latest pieces of technology, continually conforming to the newest, latest program out there.  What about having a choice, what about creating a balanced way of looking at technology without it needing to be the end to all paper.  It is all so extreme.   

For the record, this is by no means a personal attack on Will.  I am very lucky to have stumbled across his blog, because with frustration I can be motivated to learn more and to grow in ways that may have never occured without this insight.  I thank him very much and look foreward to reading more on his blog.

Written by petermeg

November 18, 2008 at 6:08 am

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Tech Task 12: K12 Online Conference

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Travelling through the dark– Presented by Steven Kimmi (http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=276)
steven-kimmiThis presentation comments on the unstoppable world of technology and what it means to face the somewhat darker side of change, and plunge yourself into the darkness of learning something new instead of taking the easy way out as an educator. 
Kimmi claims that “we must go into the dark to make sense of this ever changing world”.  He responds to this metaphor on a personal level, and talks about needing to change the way he was teaching to suit his bright young grade five students.  His students were disengaged and his instruction lacked excitement, the students were not seeing the significance in what Kimmi was teaching them.  Because of this realization he decided to contact Brian Crosby to help him get his feet wet in the realm education technology.
 
One of the tools that Kimmi suggests to get started with the battle of technology and change is to begin blogging.  He has been blogging for almost a year and has still not integrated it into his classroom.  This is because as a new learner yourself you must master, to a certain degree, a subject prior to educating others on its values.  The use of blogging, video and pod casting were all mentioned in this presentation as ways to get started.
Kimmi says that pod castingis the easiest, besides blogging, to get into.  This is because it has been made so easy to explore and experience, for yourself and students.  He did a weekly spelling test via pod cast.  One of the ideas that I really found interesting was about creating a video with his grade five’s for math class that showcased everything that they were going to learn for the year.  This, as Dean Shareski would say, would create a stage for learning.
 
There were several things that I took out of this presentation; but the biggest was to really take the time to learn a new technology prior to exploring it with your class.  The next was to find a support group to help you while you are learning and to support others as you become more comfortable with technology.  Kimmi mentions Ted talks as a positive environment to be a part of on line and also teachers teaching teachers, a pod cast that is extremely motivating explains Kimmi.

Written by petermeg

November 18, 2008 at 5:04 am

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Tech Task 12: K12 Online Conference

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What Did You Do in School Yesterday, Today, and h-songhaiThree Years Ago?– Presented by H. Songhai (http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=280

This presentation comments on the different ways that the tools of technology, that most students have access to, can help to be used inside and outside of the classroom to document learning and growth.

Using technology as proof and documentation of learning is a positive way for us, as educators, to look at the gizmo’s and various gadgets that students seem to be sneaking into the classroom.  In this particular presentation H. Songhai diffuses the idea of what it might look like if we incorperated social technology of our youth and culture into the walls of the classroom.  The word that I felt was the most repetitive was “proof”.  When I was in high school I did not document any of my learning on a piece of technology and I now can say that I do not have evidence of my career as a young student.  

Why is it important for students to have “proof” or documentation of their learning?  Because “proof” is what we are able to look back on and understand how much growth has taken place.  To understand the types and amounts of learning that has happened to us we must review our past as a means to get better at a particular subject and to feel proud of how far we have come.  Although it frightened me to hear Songhai say that he has not used paper in his classroom in over three years, I understand where he is coming from.  It is certainly a green approach, however I think that when children are writing out a creative story on paper compared to just typing it out on a blinding computer screen a different product is created.  In my own experience I am much more creative when I can write my ideas out on paper, staring at a harsh computer screen can quite often suck my creativity dry.  I understand that what he is commenting on are the frustrations that come with handing out paper to students that just winds up in the nearest garbage can, but won’t no paper at all anywhere in a school be the next step that follows?  It scares me to think that is what will end up happening, because it inevitably will. 

To finish on a positive note, this presentation taught me a lot about some of the different uses of social technologies that seem to be in the hands of almost every teenager.  I do not have a digital camera or an ipod and so it was very helpful to learn about how easy it is to capture learning everywhere and anywhere the wind may blow you.  Since beginning this class I have become addicted to my iGoogle page for several reasons.  These reasons were confirmed as being learning tools for many people, because on line you are able to view many different sources of learning simultaneously.  The learning that can take place on a blog, wiki or a pod cast is infinite and will never cease to grow.

Written by petermeg

November 10, 2008 at 12:51 am

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The Begining of the End

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At the end of the year we have to do a final project that can showcase some of the things that we have learned about throughout the semester.  Being that I had a really negative attitude about technology and some of its uses prior to this Education computers class, I want to display the positive knowledge that I have acquired while also explaining some of the scepticism’s that I still have about new technologies.  To do this I want to read Neil Postman’s Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to technology, and pull quotes and ideas from it to defend the negative grip that technology has on people.  To counterbalance this I will research some more of the positive sides of technology and then as an in class presentation I will rein-act a debate between the two sides of technology and open the class up to a discussion towards the end.

Dean wants me to explore making a video instead of preforming it in front of the class, which is fine.  Naturally he is encouraging all of us to use the aid of technology to pull together our final projects.  If anyone has any ideas or questions about this I encourage you to ask away 🙂

Written by petermeg

October 19, 2008 at 11:58 pm

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More on Millie Beans

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This is a picture of me and Millie having an afternoon nap.  She is without a doubt one of the cutest puppies that I have ever met, but boy is she ever exhausting.  She is like a baby, and she really does not like to be left alone.  She follows me everywhere I go and just stands by my feet looking sad 😦  I think that she is a little bit home sick, she misses her brothers and sisters and her mom and dad.  She is amazing to cuddle with though, she keeps me nice and warm.  When she runs she trips on her ears and when she drinks half of them dip into her water dish.  Apparently they bread Bassett hounds that way because they are tracking dogs, and when their ears are that long they sweep up the scent on the ground and help them to smell.

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October 19, 2008 at 11:45 pm

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Tech Task 10: Mastercard “Priceless” Video

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Hey everyone this is the link to my mastercard priceless video-

<object width=”425″ height=”350″> <param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/TxUY39F-Mnc“> </param> <embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/TxUY39F-Mnc” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”425″ height=”350″> </embed> </object>

 

I seem to be having some trouble uploading my video.  When I do it confirms after several minutes that it has been uploaded, but then when I try to view it it tells me that the video is not yet processed.  This is very frustrating.  If any one can give me a tip please do 🙂

 Hope you like monkeys and videos :0  Enjoy !!

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October 14, 2008 at 5:41 am

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Tech Task 9: My new Teachers

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I am soooo excited to announce that the classes that I will be mentoring will be Anne Davis’ grade five students in Georgia and Maria Knee’s kinderkid’s from Newhampshire.  I have checked out both blogs and I am very excited to connect with these bright young students.  These are links to both of the classes blog’s.  Anne Davis’ “reflective Voices” blog – http://itc.blogs.com/rv/ and her classroom teachers blog “Fifth Grade Reflections” – http://jhh.blogs.com/reflection/ , and Maria Knee’s blog – http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=51141.

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October 9, 2008 at 4:31 am

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Tech Task 11: The story of Us

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This is my video that I made on my voice thread account.  I made it by myself instead of in a group, but my fiance helped me with the voice overs to help make the story more believable.  Check it out – I hope you like it.  http://voicethread.com/share/213953/

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October 8, 2008 at 1:55 am

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Tech Task 8: Inspiration From a Far

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While reading through some new blog’s that I have re added to my google reader account (because it decided to disappear on me one evening :s) I stumbled across Victoria A Davis’  blog at http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/.  I read a lot of things that this “cool cat” bloger was writing about but one particular post caught my eye and it has taken my mind to a very enlightened and positive place. 

Victoria posts about the dead sea and uses it as a brilliant metaphor.  ” The Dead Sea takes in water but there is no outlet to the sea.  Thus, it is salty, bitter, and generally just… dead.

People who are a dead sea are always taking, using up things and become bitter.

Dead Sea people never give anything to another person and never share.

 I have a chalkboard (I know they are a thing of the past :)) in my kitchen, and I write a new quote every day up on the board, and I wrote this up there immediately after I read that.  I couldn’t help it.  Victoria is a very open minded and well spoken individual who has some very positiveattitudes about technology.  Victoria sais “don’t be a dead sea”, and instead allow your learning to be transparent and help each other to share knowledge.  Because knowledge belongs to nobody in particular.  It belongs to everyone.

Written by petermeg

October 7, 2008 at 6:06 am

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Millie Beans

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This is my new dog Millie Beans.  She is a Basset Hound.  My Fiance and I get to pick her up on October 16th – Only 12 more sleeps !!!

Written by petermeg

October 7, 2008 at 4:30 am

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A Caveman’s First Computer

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When I lived at home last year my dad used to sneak into my room in the middle of the night and steal my laptop computer to use while I was catching some zzz.  He thought that he was being soooo stealthy.  He works at CP Rail and so that is why it would sometimes be in the dead of night.  This got to be pretty ridiculous because he thought that he was being so quiet and he was well – quite the opposite.  I thought that it was cute that he was becoming so addicted to this new technology because he has been wearing the same Levi jeans for the past 30 years and just last year he had his first bagel.  The man is afraid of change.

It was his birthday just a few weeks ago and we decided to get him a laptop for himself.  I thought that he would have a lot of questions that evening but nothing.  He said that he had everything all figured out.  Tonight he popped by me and my fiance’s house to say hi and we spent over an hour setting up an email account for him and then explaining it to him.  This just reminded me that I may have a lot to learn, but things could always be worse 🙂

Written by petermeg

October 7, 2008 at 4:25 am

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A Case of the “Monday’s”

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I feel absolutely exhausted right now but also like venting so I must vent.  Normally I would write on paper but this is a great excuse to blog.  It is Monday again and it feels like last Monday was only a couple of days ago.  My weeks seem to be passing by like hours and I am sick of it.  I feel like for every day I need a week with nothing to do in order to even think about getting all of my homework finished – and that is just my life in school. 

I am taking antibiotics right now and naturally they are making me feel even more sick than I felt before.       A W E S O M E !!  Its great really – oh yea I love being sick as a dog on a Monday while it rains and exhausted from the one class that I had today.  I had one class and I feel like I need a nap.  Of course I do drive in every day from Moose Jaw to get to school but what has happened to me ??  Did I secretly age about 40 years while I was sleeping last night ?  To be honest nothing would suprise me at this point. 

Ahhh well I do feel a bit better.  If anyone reading this has also had a case of the “Monday’s” or Tuesday’s or whatever day it might be please send a vent my way.  Because I am here to listen and it would make me feek better about my Monday.  Just kidding.

Happy reading and happy Monday – I’m off to have a nap 🙂

Written by petermeg

October 6, 2008 at 10:19 pm

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Tech Task #7: Yearnings and Learnings

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Years ago when I was taking vocal lessons and singing a lot, I read a book (just for kicks :)) called Vocal Resonance.  This book was entirely unnecessary for me to read, however it was summer time, lessons had ceased and I was craving more information about the ways that I could improve and strengthen my already neatly trained voice.  Now this book was ridiculous, and I mean that.  There was a 45 page section on tongue placement while singing on the vowel “E”.  Crazy ?  Yes, but I loved every minute of that learning process.  In particular I loved the fact that at 16 years old I was motivating myself to want to read that for my own personal educational process.  The point that Iam attempting to make is that no one asked me to read this book, and in fact when I told my voice teacher about it the following year she said that she wouldn’t even read a book like that, that it contained information that was not necessary for someone at my level.  Well I just grinned when she told me this,because I felt so proud of myself for going beyond what was expected  of me.

  As people of all shapes and sizes, we are always searching to become better at the things that we love, and that is precisely what I did that summer.  But, what I have realized now is that after reading that book, I gained some knowledge for myself most certainly, however what has proved to be more important is the amount of times that I have helped others with their music since I had read that book.  To me learning is all about intention.  I always try to ask myself before learning something new what my intention behind that learning is.

Without question I learn best when I have motivated myself to want more knowledge on a particular subject, and I think that many people operate the same way.  I quite enjoy reading books about inspiration, spirituality (not to be confused whith any particular religion), and all of the arts.  I seem to be facinated by the arts and have never learned something new about this particulat subject that I havent already put back out to the world.  That is the best thing about learning, any speck of knowledge that you pick up will follow you wherever you go.  Knowledge has only the potential to grow, and remains to be a force that can never be stopped.

I have just recently began to implement checking out new information on the computer as a resource for myself.  I enjoy learning in a hands on environmentand I have yet to have enough experiences with that being fused with technology.  However I look foreword to find more of what I love to learn via computer so that I can become more technologically savvy.  I must admit that my learning network right now is very small.  I enjoy reading books,and having hands on experiences with real people, but I look forword to expansion of my learning network in the near future.

Written by petermeg

September 27, 2008 at 9:05 pm

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Tech Task 5: Google Earth

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When I was in grade 11 I almost failed a map test of Canada.  Anyone who knows me well knows that Iam directionally challenged.   I get lost at least once a day, in Moose Jaw the town that I grew up in, and according to most people should know pretty well.  It is ridiculous to think that I will some day teach small children I know, but for years I have come to the understanding that I need to learn more about geography and the many interesting places of the world.  These are all reasons that I choose to check out “Google Earth” as my Google Educational Tool for this assignment.  I think that this is one tool that I will certainly need to utilize a lot in my classroom even after my spacial awareness improves. 

 When I decided to check the site out about a week ago I dove head first into it and felt myself quickly becoming frustrated because everything looked so simple, yet I couldn’t seem to get in and out of components of the site with great ease.  Naturally I stepped back and decided to look closer at all of the things that Google Earth had to offer and began my journey across the universe.  I learned that there are five easy, cool, amazing things that any one (maybe even a monkey) could do right off the bat when checking out this fabulous Google educational tool.  You can view an image of your very own house or school, you can go on a tour of the world (no big deal), you can get driving directions from one place to the next and follow the route (this option would be ideal for me when driving just about anywhere), you can check out other awesome locations and features created by Google earth users, and you can view a 3D image of any place !!!  Pretty amazing to start out with I thought, plus there is so much more. 

Google earth is totally free, however there is a newer version of the site that has heightened features that are really exciting.  There is sooooo much that I still feel like I need to explore where Google earth is concerned, and I am jacked up to do so.  I find it difficult to believe that I had never checked it out prior to this assignment.  I have a little sister who is ten years younger than me who said that she uses Google Earth nearly every single day in her class, and with good reason I suppose.  I think that it is a fabulous resource that would be good for any and every teacher out there weather they be directionally challenged like myself or not.

Written by petermeg

September 23, 2008 at 4:08 am

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My Igoogle page

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Written by petermeg

September 15, 2008 at 12:44 am

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Tech Task 4: You Tube is Totally Tubular

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I am not as familiar with the world of you tube as most of the people my age I’m sure, so I decided to use it in all of the research that I’m doing for school as a visual aid to my learning.  This weekend I used the resource of you tube to gather information about the Astor Place Riot.  I am writing a paper on the subject for one of my theatre classes this semester.  A lot of the readings and articles that I found on the riot were pretty heavy and I found that watching a couple of documentaries on the subject really gave me a break from all of the reading, it was awesome.  I am very much a visual learner and so it also helped to clarify a lot of the research that I was taking in, in other words it fine tuned everything for me.  I am also reading the crucible, a play by Arther Miller, for a script analysis class.  Now our job in this class for the next three weeks is to simply read the Crucible over and over and over again.  I looked everywhere in Moose Jaw for the video last week so that I could understand it in a little bit better and uncover another layer of Millers work, but no dice, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  You tube has many different productions and versions of this play being performed at various schools universities, as well as some professional performances, and watching some of the different takes on characters and plot was very clarifying for me.  God bless you tube!!  I would have never thought to look there if it wasn’t for this assignment in our Ecomp class. 

There are many ways one could utilize you tube in a classroom with many different types of learners.  What really stuck out to me while I was on the site was the fact that you can get many takes on one singular event, opinion, song – etc.  This valuable for many reasons; when a student is struggling with something because the teacher may only have one idea or shred of information on the subject that teacher could turn to you tube as a secondary resource to help that student out.  Now it is important to keep in mind that anyone can post something on you tube and so you must be open and objective when viewing a video, but also skilled at weeding out the quality from a lot of the less legit information.  Also one must understand that what may not be valuable to one person may be very valuable to the next, so it is important not to discount information for the sake of disliking it. 

The other thing that I appreciated and loved about you tube was how easy the site was to operate.  You tube is all about connecting one idea to many ideas, to showcase lots of different takes on one thing.  Although this can also be distracting while it leads you to information that may not pertain to what you are trying to learn about, overall it an extremely helpful, creative visual aid for all walks of life.  I loved the fact that each new topic that you plug into the you tube search engine will always give you the URL of the video that you are viewing.  This is amazing because you can add these video links to you delicious account and or save them for later viewing.

Written by petermeg

September 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm

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Question ???

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I just have a few questions concerning our last on line class.  In our assigned “tech task two”, what does it mean by add our class bookmarks ??  What bookmarks do we have ?  Are they on the learning.prairiesouth.ca website ?  And how do we add rss feeds from classmates ??  By checking out their blogs ?  I understand that these are simple questions but I’m just a little confused and the sound was cutting in and out of my computer the whole time our second session was taking place.  If anyone can help answer my questions I would sure appreciate that 🙂  Oh and also (to Dean specifically) how will you know that we have done all of these things, do we send you the website adress ?

Written by petermeg

September 11, 2008 at 5:59 am

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Tech Task 2: Me and Technology

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It’s like I’m a 67 year old trapped in a 23 year old body.  I do not feel connected to technology in any way shape or form.  It is as if I didn’t grow up with it all of my life the way that I did.  This puts me in an awkward position as a young person going into the field of education.  There seem to be so many positive ways to use technology in the classroom and I wish that I could feel comfortable utilizing them with my future students.  In my own experience technology has, in some ways, taken away the idea of communicating face to face with one another.  Being that nearly half of what we say to a person can be read in our body language we cannot possibly be sharing information online with one another to our fullest potential.  When I was 17 I went up to Calgary to visit a friend and ended up staying there for over a year.  One of the very first things that I noticed about the people in a larger city was that technology was even more apparent than it was in my home town of Moose Jaw.  When I would walk down the streets to get to work every day and smile at people I noticed that they would rarely even look at me.  I made them feel uncomfortable because I was looking at them clear in the eye.  I’m sure that technology can and is in many cases a productive and positive medium that has been immersed throughout thousands of different cultures, but I cant help but wonder what it is doing to us on a much deeper unseen level.  Now if you are an extroverted person this way of communicating might be ideal- however if you find yourself to be more introverted, you may eventually become so socially awkward that your confidence will crumble at the signs of a face to face encounter with another human being.  I understand that my views on the subject are biased and need to open up a great deal. But I also think that as educators and people we must create a balance between hands on, personal interactive learning and the technical side of education today. 

I am so scared at the thought of all of my students using “smart boards” in the place of books and chalk boards, but like I stated earlier this is because I am not sure how to use most of this technology myself.  I think that in the case of students connecting with other students from all around the world it is fabulous.  I understand that that there are a lot of positive aspects to technology, however it makes me nervous to think that sooo much information can be in any ones hands.  Face book, as an example, is an addictive, exciting and somewhat controlling site that has just recently swept over the nation.  I think that it is a burden as well as a blessing, because for teachers and students to be able to access really personal information about one another can create biases within the walls of the classroom.  Text messaging is another new addiction that has taken the place of making a phone call to someone that is close to you.  Why call them or pop over to their place to hang out when it is easier, faster and less personalto text.  I use texting a lot myself, but I would never text in a classroom, because it would be far too distracting.  The thing about cell phones is that if you ban them from the classroom it will only encourage students to use them even more.  So the answer is not to make cells disappear, but rather to make them useful in the classroom by making examples out of them.  I think that you tube is a great resource for students and teachers alike in the fact that a great deal of learning can be done in a more interactive fashion on line.  All of these new facets of learning can potentially help students find valid information in a flash if used appropriately.

There are a lot of things that I hope to learn from this class.  It always seems so difficult for me to understand what seems to be so obvieous to the average person, and so I hope that the pace of the class doesn’t become to quick for me.  I felt a little stressed out after the first class.  When I went on to the websites that we learned about to better understand them I felt confused and lost.  I hope that each week things become a bit easier for me to understand, and I hope that when this class is all said and done I will feel comfortable using these websites as resources to aid my schoolwork for the next three years and eventually my teaching.

Written by petermeg

September 10, 2008 at 11:50 pm

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A Little Nervous

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Well well, I must admit that Iam a little nervous to go online tonight and not be with everyone face to face in the classroom.  My brother bought me a headset with a microphone for my birthday this past weekend, but Im not even sure how to plug it in- sad I know.  Heres hoping that everything goes well.

Written by petermeg

September 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

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There is a First Time For Everything

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This is my very first post on my very first blog.  This whole idea of creating a blog is a bit like tap dancing for me.  (Important side note: I can’t dance to save my life.)  It’s all a little intimidating to me, yet I am looking forward to opening myself up to a new way of connecting to people, so here goes.

Written by petermeg

September 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

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